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    Description

    Outstanding 1812 Half Eagle, BD-1, Choice Mint State

    1812 $5 MS64 PCGS. CAC. Wide 5D, Breen-6466, BD-1, R.3. The two known 1812 half eagle varieties feature the same obverse and are distinguished by the spacing of the denomination. This piece is Bass-Dannreuther die state a/a, as evidenced by the absence of clash marks on either side. The reverse of BD-1 has two peculiar die defect lines, which were either accidental graver's marks or some sort of damage. One is located just before the first A in AMERICA from the rim to the eagle's right (facing) wing, and another bisects the shield and the eagle's left wing. The unknown nature of these die lines makes this piece an excellent candidate for further research.
    Dannreuther estimates that between 45,000 to 60,000 examples of this variety were minted, but there are only between 300 and 450 survivors. Although not as scarce as its Close 5D counterpart, BD-1 is seldom seen in Choice condition, and it is extremely difficult to locate in Gem. On July 30, 2008 we sold another PCGS MS64 specimen, but the present piece is unquestionably more attractive than that coin. PCGS reports only five examples finer, four of which are just one point higher (8/08).
    An interesting characteristic of this piece is the fairly obvious strike doubling on the reverse. Minor die chatter has caused most of the letters to be slightly wider than normal. There are also several light adjustment marks on the obverse, which translate to minor weakness on the eagle's left (facing) wing. The rest of the details, however, are quite sharp. Impressive satiny luster shimmers beneath the sun-gold patina. A few minuscule marks in the fields preclude an even higher grade. This handsome piece is a wonderful representative of the final issue before alterations were made to John Reich's Capped Bust design.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 42AM, PCGS# 8112)

    Weight: 8.75 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2008
    17th-21st Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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